2 BITSian entrepreneurs donate US$ 100K for TelePresence
classroom in BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus
We bring you the inspiring story of two BITSians who scripted one of the first BITSian entrepreneurial success stories in the US and then generously donated US$ 100K towards a TelePresence classroom at the BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus.
TelePresence classroom in one of the BITS Pilani campuses
BITS Connect 2.0
was conceived by a group of BITS alumni who had the technological vision, the knowledge of world-class university campus infrastructure and above all the passion to give back to their alma mater. Among this stellar list of BITS alumni are Raju Reddy and Sarath Sura the co-founders of Sierra Atlantic, which grew to be one of the most admired companies in Silicon Valley and India, before being acquired by Hitachi Consulting in 2011.
In 1993, Sierra Atlantic was started by Raju Reddy, a class of '81 BITS Pilani graduate, along with two other friends for outsourced product development, with offices in India and in the US. Sierra Atlantic was born as a self-funded fast growing company and was already growing towards US$ 20 million in revenues when it got its first venture funding of about US$ 17 million from GE Capital, Walden International and NEA. And that was the only time the company sought venture capital. Without raising any more capital Sierra Atlantic was able to make four vital acquisitions.
According to Raju, building trust, delivering great results and being adaptive to the changing environment were the core values that led to Sierra Atlantic’s astounding success. Because of its excellent customer service, Sierra Atlantic, with about 2400 employees, consistently ranked amongst the best managed companies, one of the top 75 most admired companies in the Silicon Valley, top 25 great places to work in India and top 10 best employers in South China. Sierra Atlantic also employed many top class BITSians in its offices in India and in the US.
Raju Reddy Sarath Sura
Raju is also the co-founder of SIPA (Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association). He was also involved in CIPA (Council on International and Public Affairs) promoting business between India and the United States. CIPA was the precursor to TiE
(The Indus Entrepreneurs) of which Raju was an early charter member. Apart from his role as the Chairman of BITSAA International, Raju is also keen on encouraging entrepreneurship among the Indian youth. He has invested in BITSian startups and continuously mentors many young BITSian entrepreneurs through the BITS Spark
program. On Indian entrepreneurs Raju says:
"...I have found that India has some amazing young entrepreneurs emerging from the colleges and often from middle class families. That offers great hope for India and may lift the country out of poverty...."
Being BITSian entrepreneurs themselves Raju and Sarath are interested in ensuring that an infrastructure like BITS Connect 2.0 will bring some of the best entrepreneurs and VCs from around the globe and connect them with aspiring BITSian entrepreneurs, thereby fuelling innovation and entrepreneurship at BITS campuses.
Raju has helped BITSAA raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the BITS Connect 2.0 project and quite obviously is excited about it. On BITS Connect 2.0 project itself, Raju says:
"...This is path breaking. This platform delivers an experience that is not your typical virtual cyber experience. You can brainstorm with peers at a university in Europe or U.S., have interviews with potential employers anywhere on the globe or attend a class thousands of miles away and still feel like you are there…and these are just a few examples. The quality and scale of this project is a first in its field and we envision this to be model that is adopted by educational institutions across India. BITS putting its considerable prestige and brand behind this speaks of the amazing potential this has...."
The 250-seater TelePresence classroom is to be named The Sierra Atlantic Video Instruction Classroom - after the company nurtured by the two. Their fond hope is that one day, all four BITS campuses will have infrastructure projects funded by the companies that benefit from the graduates of the institution in their businesses.
Passionate alumni like Raju Reddy and Sarath Sura have made a difference - to their alma mater, to the alumni community and the world! You can donate and make a difference too - right here!
BITS Connect 2.0 Team